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Why Do Your Customers Trust You?

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.  – Abraham Lincoln

One of our local business newspapers, OC Metro, partnered with an advertising firm DGWB to create a nonprofit Values Institute that then surveyed consumers in the area about brands they trust the most.  The institute then held “The OC Trust Summit” to celebrate the 16 companies considered the most trusted.  These include American Red Cross, Apple, Disneyland Resort, Nordstrom (see full list here), so there are no huge surprises – these organizations are routinely regarded with favor.

What I really enjoyed in the article about the survey was the reasons WHY consumers trust these brands.  Here are what the institute established as The 5 Factors of Trust:

  • Ability: A brand’s quality and capacity to provide what people want and need.
  • Concern: Customer perception of a brand’s respect and care for its customers and employees.
  • Connection:  The personal relationship a customer feels with the brand, including depth, and anticipated longevity of the bond.
  • Consistency: Reliability, dependability and stability (including follow through and standing behind commitments).
  • Sincerity:  Is the company candid, open and honest?  A measure of genuineness and transparency.

It is not just what we sell, or getting a high quality product or service to the customer on time, at a fair price.  It is also the manner in which we conduct business.